On Loving and Longing

it’s Valentine’s Day next week, and the aisles at Target are working overtime to make sure we know that love is in the air, am I right? 

And does it seem like we are all collectively trying to feel light, flirty, and happy…yet know that life is truly often heavy, burdensome, and even our best days are as the Psalmist says: “but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away.” (Psalm 90:10)

I’m not trying to be a downer; I’m just telling the truth from where I’m seeing it: Love is sweet and fragrant and fun, but it also requires labor, sacrifice, and diligence. I can’t look at pink hearts without considering all the purple ones too in the trenches of life. Love and loss, love and longing…seems to always go hand in hand.

After almost 19 years of marriage and loving a husband plus six kiddos…love (the verb) and the celebration of it feels much different than it used to:

Less fluff and more foundation. Less stuff and more substance. Less heartburn, but more heartache.

Life is full of opportunities to love, feel longing or loss, and to love anyway.

I’ve been thinking on these things as Valentine’s Day approaches and GraceLaced Shoppe launched the Be Still Series this week (with a sale!) The series is about fighting chaos and the discouragement of waiting for change, with the steadying truth of God’s Word. It’s His Word that reminds us that:

He is good when He blesses and takes away. He is not through with us yet and will indeed wipe away every tear and make all things new. We can be still because He is still on the throne, even when everything is not perfectly lovely or loving.

Love and longing can sometimes feel like the same thing: Both make the heart ache and both teach us to trust what we can’t always see with our eyes. 

So maybe these verses meet you at the intersection of loving and loss, maybe they find you yearning and waiting, and maybe these verses remind you that you must just keep pressing on in love and praise because Christ is love and your life is in Him.

I hope so.


*And if these (or anything else in the shoppe) speaks to you this week, we are having a shoppe-wide sale, so enjoy the discount and free print promo through Wednesday 2/15. 


Cheering you on, friends.

Because of grace,

 

(Family portrait by my friend, Joy Prouty of Wildflowers Photography)

To Have Christ Steal Your Heart In A Cupid World

peony
For most of my life, I’ve been in love with the idea of being in love. In fact, now that I’m older and a little wiser, I’m finally coming around to the idea that love is hard work, it’s sacrifice, it’s a rewarding labor.

As residents of a world that is infatuated with infatuation and addicted to the allure of finding that special someone, how do we, as parents, point our children to the beauty of Christ? To the True Love of their maker?

So on this Valentine’s Day, I stop to consider: Am I presenting the beauty, the adoration, the love of Christ in such a way as to draw my children’s affections? Do I speak of Him and my relationship with the Lord so as to cause them to desire such a love for themselves?

Join me at Mom Heart Online today as I share ways we can help our children fall in love with Jesus.

The Labor Of Loving

The Labor of Loving | gracelaced.com

Perhaps the hardest thing about love is being convinced that you must actually work at it.

Oh how I adore those things that come naturally to me!  Or is it the ease and simplicity of feeling good-about-myself-without-trying-very-hard that I adore so much?

What– really –do we truly enjoy that requires no effort at all? Yes, I know what you are thinking…a meal delivered or house-cleaning service…you wouldn’t mind not applying effort in those areas from time to time. But, a meal made and a home cleaned come at a price and with effort…of some kind from someone. There’s a cost to everything wonderful and worthwhile.

So I’m pondering, this Valentine’s week, on the labor that LOVING is.

True love isn’t always magical and mysterious, star-gazing and endlessly alluring.

Instead, true love is most oven realistic and revealing, requiring focus and a deliberate endeavoring to seek out what is worthy of adoration. 

I have a wonderful, healthy, Christ-filled marriage to an amazing man…and LOVE takes continual effort. From both of us. It takes not giving up. It takes dying to self, and living in sanctification. It takes forgetting easy, and believing that everything worthwhile costs something.

It may cost us time.
It may cost us energy.
It may cost us our pride.
It may cost us our selfish notions of love.

I’m thinking today on what it is to love with Christ’s love; the love that was given freely but cost Him everything.

I’d be a fool to think that loving another human being could be any easier than the example set by my Savior.

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
John 15:13

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us andgave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Ephesians 5:1-2

So, if this week, you find that you continue to labor in the art of loving while the the world around you is charmed by the illusion of the effortless flutter of enamored hearts…take heart, you are in good company. Of those who press on in vulnerability, building the house one brick at a time and bravely tearing down the walls between. Of those who serve sacrificially. Of those who fight for their marriages. Of those who keep the fire burning by fanning the flame of costly love, knowing there is nothing to lose when our Savior has paid it all.

 

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Welcome to GraceLaced Mondays, a link up dedicated to sharing any and all blog posts by like-minded lovers of grace–God’s grace! Grace is found in the everyday when you are intentional about taking note of it…and I invite you to share your story, great or small, of how everyday moments are full of Grace.

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